login | Register

Ten Great DVD's For Southern Rockers

by Michael Buffalo Smith


1. Almost Famous  (2000)
    The semi-autobiographical story of Rolling Stone writer turned movie producer Cameron Crowe features Phillip Seymour Hoffman as my hero Lester Bangs, and a band called Stillwater (not the real Capricorn Records band) based on a composite of Lynyrd Skynyrd , The Eagles and  The Allman Brothers Band. The Russell character truly is Dickey Betts, and Crowe even casts an actor as his friend Red Dog from the ABB. GREAT SCENES: When Russell gets high  and dives from the roof of a house into the pool while shouting “I am a golden god!” Also, when the Crowe character finally gets his one on one interview with the Dickey character.

Almost Famous Trailer

2. Freebird The Movie/Tribute Tour (2001)        
   Freebird is Lynyrd Skynyrd playing at a 1976 show at England's Knebworth Fair and at numerous 1977 concerts in San Francisco, Oakland, and New Jersey's Asbury Park. This DVD also features the Tribute Tour documentary from 1987, as the survivors get together for a tour that would eventually reunite the band.
GREAT SCENES: Freebird, Allen Collins in his red outfit, leaping into the air in rock god fashion during “Freebird” with Ronnie up front, cooler than James Dean. Tribute, the scene where the tour bus breaks down, and backstage footage where Artimus Pyle comments on the flowers from Ann and Nancy Wilson. Look for my buddy Jay Johnson in some scenes. At the tim he played with The Rossington Band which opened the shows.

3. Volunteer Jam (2007)
   This theatrical release from 1975 is a Southern Rocker's dream. Charlie Daniels hosts one of the first Volunteer Jams, with The Marshall Tucker Band, Dickey Betts, Grinderswitch and so many more. The jams are legendary. GREAT SCENES: The Marshall Tucker Band with Charlie sitting in is awesome, as is the all star closer "Mountain Dew" with Ronnie Stoneman on banjo.

5. The Portrait of Billy Joe (2004)
   The great Texas songwriter (According to Willie Nelson, he is "maybe the best song writer alive today") and iconic country singer Billy Joe Shaver is profiled in a wonderful hour long documentary from film maker Luciana Pedraza. I was front row center for the world premier of the film at SXSW in 2004, where I sat sandwiched in between Luciana and her boyfriend Robert Duvall, and Shaver himself. It was a great experience and one I'll not soon forget. GREAT SCENES: Billy Joe singing in church, his acoustic guitar held up by twine rather than a strap, singing "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal."

5. Live From The Garden State (2004)
   Released on DVD in 2004, this show features The Marshall Tucker Band  shortly after the tragic death of Tommy Caldwell in 1981, with new member Frank Wilkie on bass. An excellent show that was originally aired during the first year of MTV, when the station war fresh and still all about good music. Anyone remember those days? There is also a documentary included called “Which One is Marshall Tucker,” which I was involved in, both on and off camera. All of the photos and memorabilia were from my collection, and I was interviewed by the producer before he and I ventured to Spartanburg to film Doug Gray for the same doc. Fun. GREAT SCENES: At the beginning, when the band is walking down the hall to the stage and Doug Gray opens up his shirt to show his blue MTV t-shirt, with a grin. Toy sitting down behind the pedal steel to rip it up on “Fire On the Mountain.”

6. Tom Dowd and The Language of Music  (2004)
   Tom Dowd was one of a kind. Just two years before his passing, I was fortunate enough to meet him and do a 3-hour interview which is posted in the Swampland archives. Tom produced the Allman Brothers at Fillmore East album, Skynyrd’s One More From The Road, and so many other great albums. GREAT SCENES: Dowd at the mixing board, isolates Duane Allman’s lead tracks on the “Layla” masters.

7. Rush (1991)
    In 1975, a young policewoman, just out of the Academy, is teamed with an experienced vice officer to work undercover to purge a small Texas city of its flourishing drug trade. Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh rock, but it is Gregg Allman as the drug king pin who steels the show for us Southern Rockers. GREAT SCENES: The first encounter between the undercover cops and brother Gregg.

8. The Charlie Daniels Band Live  (2005)
    There are several live CDB DVDs available, but this one is red hot. The whole band is at the peak of their game. GREAT SCENES: Charlie just amazes me every time, and this version of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” just rocks.

9. 38 Special Live (2007)
   This killer performance took place at the Buffalo Chip Campgrounds in Sturgis, South Dakota in 1999. GREAT SCENES: Don Barnes singing my favorite “Caught Up in You,” and Donnie Van Zant rocking “Wild Eyed Southern Boys.”

10. Joe Dirt  (2001)
   In this hilarious film David Spade is Joe Dirt, a janitor with a mullet hairdo, acid-washed jeans and a dream to find the parents that he lost at the Grand Canyon when he was a belligerent, trailer park-raised eight-year-old. Now, blasting Southern and classic rock in his jacked-up economy car, the irrepressibly optimistic Joe hits the road with a mission. GREAT SCENES: Too many to name, but at one point Joe sports a vintage Marshall Tucker Band t-shirt, and the scenes with Kid Rock are pretty cool.

Deleted Scene from Joe Dirt

related tags

West Virginia,
South Carolina,
North Carolina,

Currently there are 1 comments. Leave one now!

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.
Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.